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Herman Cain Wants You to Try the New 9-9-9 Recipe

Godfather of gold ties and GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain has taken a lot of heat for his 9-9-9 tax plan. While it has a nice ring to it, not too many people are crazy about 9-cubed including his fellow GOP hopefuls, their tax taskmaster Grover Norquist, and every tax wonk within the DC delivery area.

Sensing something needed to be changed, Cain got his economics advisor accountant and whomever else is crunching the numbers to go back to the drawing board. And what did they come up with, you ask? Are they throwing in free bread sticks? Fresher ingredients? A gluten-free crust stuffed with cheese? Nope! That would just cause more confusion, so they just dropped a nine:

For people living under the poverty line, “your plan isn’t 9-9-9, it’s 9-0-9,” Mr. Cain said in a policy speech in Detroit. “Say amen, y’all. If you are at or below the poverty line…then you don’t pay that middle 9” – i.e. the individual flat tax.

Mr. Cain’s bold 9-9-9 plan – which includes a 9% individual flat tax, a 9% business flat tax, and a 9% national sales tax – has helped vault him into the top tier of GOP presidential candidates.

But free bread sticks would still be nice.

Herman Cain Tweaks 9-9-9 Tax to Remove Flat Tax for Poorest Americans [WSJ]

Herman Cain’s Economics Advisor Was Trained in the Arts of Debits and Credits

As we mentioned, former Pizza Godfather and current GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan hasn’t impressed a lot of people. Bruce Bartlett called it “a distributional monstrosity” and that it “stands out as exceptionally ill conceived.” When Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman told Cain that the ‘Berg found that his plan wasn’t revenue neutral, Cain simply said, “that analysis is […] incorrect.” Despite the haters, Cain’s plan seems to have captivated the media psyche, it has helped boost him in the polls and he says that it will be delivered in 30 minutes or less (i.e. “[it] will pass”).

Who is the mastermind behind this plan? Is it a young economics policy wonk? Is it a Ivy League economist known the world-over? Is it one of Cain’s former delivery boys who came up with the plan after sharing a jay with an extra friendly customer? NOPE! It’s Rich Lowrie. Rich Lowrie of Cleveland? No? He went to Case Western Reserve University and got an accounting degree. Still nothing?

Herman Cain says his much-touted 9-9-9 plan is the product of extensive testing and thinking, but the only man he cited as involved with its research — Rich Lowrie of Cleveland — is not a trained economist.

Instead, Lowrie — who’s the only economic adviser Cain has been willing to mention by name — is a wealth manager for a division of Wells Fargo and according to his LinkedIn page holds an accountancy degree from Case Western Reserve University. Lowrie also spent three years on the advisory board of the conservative third-party group Americans For Prosperity.

Now that we’re clear about the credentials behind one of the masterminds behind 9-9-9, don’t you feel better about it?

Herman Cain’s economic adviser is not an economist [Politico]

You’re Not Alone If You Think Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan Is a Gimmick

At a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase. Even allowing for the poorly thought through promises routinely made on the campaign trail, Mr. Cain’s tax plan stands out as exceptionally ill conceived. [NYT via TaxProf]